Pam Smith shocked the ultrarunning world in winning the 2013 Western States 100. John Trent was the first to speak with Pam after the race in this finish-line interview.
[Editor’s Note: iRunFar conducted its own post-race interview with Pam Smith.]
[Click here if you can’t see the video above.]
Bonus: Pam Smith Winning the 2013 Western States 100
Pam Smith, 2013 Western States 100 Champion, Finish Line Interview Transcript
John Trent: This lady ran a tremendous race today. Pam Smith, I wanted to ask you first of all, based on last year what was the game plan as you went out today, knowing it was going to be a hot day and kind of the trials and travails you had last year?
Pam Smith: I think we can say last year was due to the cold. So many the other runners aren’t going to like me for this, but I was actually praying to the weather gods for a very hot day today. I was hoping I could stay hydrated, lots of ice, ice down the sports bra, had a big bandana on… it was an attractive day out there for sure.
Trent: I have to say, I was at Foresthill when you ran through and you sort of looked like Dolly Parton with all the ice there, but it worked.
Smith: That’s about the only way I’ll look like that.
Trent: Today you must have felt good throughout. Were there any low points at all?
Smith: I felt pretty steady throughout the race today. Obviously the last 10 miles when you’re coming downhill I thought, Oh man, I’m not going to be walking well tomorrow. I was still moving okay. I never got to the point where I felt I was just trashed or out of it or anything.
Trent: This time today, just like in the men’s race, that’s a remarkable time to run 18.5 hours today when it’s 102F. John Medinger was saying it was the second hottest day we’ve ever had. Did you think it was going to take 18.5 hours to win or did you have a time in mind today?
Smith: My goal time going in before the heat thing was 18.5 hours. I know at the race briefing they said throw your pace card out the window. I just thought I’d try to stick with it and, if I wasn’t too far off the paces, I’d just keep going with it.
Trent: Did you know you finished top-10 overall as well?
Smith: I didn’t know that.
Trent: Well, you did.
Smith: That sounds good!
Trent: I wanted to ask you about your family. Did you see them often out there today?
[Transcription break due to background noise.]
Trent: You had a good spring going into this. Your preparation must have been going pretty good. How confident were you when you arrived in Squaw Valley prior to this race?
Smith: With the talent in this race, you can never be confident that you’re going to win it. There are so many amazing women out there, and all of them have impressive resumes. I certainly was coming and trying to be competitive at the front and hopefully be in that mix. I did feel good with my training going into it, and I felt prepared. I was a little more organized with pace charts and nutrition plan and training plan and that kind of stuff. That was good.
Trent: You’ve won a lot of races. You’ve had a lot of great performances. How does today rank up?
Smith: Oh! This is a big one in ultrarunning, so everything else combined doesn’t compare to this. I’m just thrilled to be sitting here and to have gotten the win today.
Trent: Last year in your blog that you were writing about last year’s race, you put it a lot more elegantly than I’ll state it here, but at the end of your blog, you basically stated that even after a crappy day, to know that you’re loved and that people out there are caring you really matters. How does it feel after a great day to know that you’re loved and everybody out there is cheering for you?
Smith: It was amazing out there today. There were a lot of friends and family out there cheering. My daughter had never been out there on the course before. It was nice to finish a little bit earlier; that way she can get out here. My mom has come every year to see me finish, so I appreciate that. My dad’s been out a couple of times as well. I’ve got my husband as my super crew here, and I had an awesome pacer today. The crowds and everybody cheering for me and really psyched up—it was nice to see that energy. I could really feed off of that. I loved to feel that and really soak it up.
Trent: Ladies and Gentleman, our women’s champion, top-10 finisher, Pam Smith!